This new book brings together Britain's leading naval historians and analysts to present a comprehensive investigation of British naval thinking and what has made it so distinctive over the last three centuries, from the sailing ship era to the current day. This new volume describes in depth the beginnings of formalized thought about the conduct of naval operations in the 18th Century, its transformation through the impact of industrialization in the 19th Century and its application in the two World Wars of the twentieth. This book concludes with a review of modern British naval thinking and the appearance of naval doctrine against the uncertainties of the loss of empire, the Cold War, nuclear weapons and the huge changes facing us as we move in to the new millennium. How perceptive and distinctive was British naval thinking? Where did British ideas come from? Did they determine or merely follow British experience? Do they explain British naval success ? The contributors to this volume tackle these key questions in a book that will be of considerable interest to the maritime community around the English-speaking world. This book will be of great interest to all students and professionals with an interest in the history of the Royal Navy, contemporary British maritime operations and strategic studies. This is a commemorative volume of the life and work of the distinguished Professor Bryan Ranft.